Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show a small decline in total tractor registrations for 2022 when compared with the previous year.

According to the CSO, a total of 2,368 vehicles categorised as tractors were registered in 2022, as opposed to 2,491 in 2021,

Brand positions 2022

This total figure shows a small decline for the numbers, although there was much movement among the various brands, with some makes showing a marked increase in registrations, while others struggled to maintain position.

The table below compares the figures published by the CSO for the last two years.

Tractor brand20212022
John Deere542596
Massey Ferguson421387
New Holland376312
All other makes245245
Total registrations for each brand. Data source: CSO Ireland

John Deere clearly surged ahead in 2022, beating the prevailing trend to show a marked increase in sales, while most others declined in line with the headline figure.

One of the most notable features of last year’s figures from the CSO was that it was the secondary brands, Claas, Valtra and Fendt that did well – all improved their sales – while of the big three, only John Deere saw an uptick.

These four marques are considered premium brands, so cost is obviously not the only consideration with farmers, and it is likely that the four manufacturers will point out it is value, rather than list price, which persuaded many customers to invest.

CSO charts erosion of loyalty

Unfortunately, the CSO does not provide a breakdown by power bands, but given the known increase in power requirements, it is possible that the demand for large, well-equipped tractors increased, while the smaller farmer was discouraged by the dramatic increase in machinery prices we have seen over the last couple of years.

Valtra brands CSO figures
Valtra is one brand which enjoyed increased sales in 2022

This movement might also mark a weakening of brand loyalty among customers, who may now be seeking the tractor that most suits their needs, rather than sticking with the name that has always been seen in the yard.

The events of the last couple of years may well come to be seen as the factors which determined that colour no longer became the deciding factor in tractor purchase decisions.